Demand for electricity in cooperative service territories is growing at twice the rate of demand in other sectors of the industry. Results of 2010 survey of generation and transmission cooperatives showed that co-ops will need an additional 12,600 MW over the next ten years.
Electric cooperatives use a wide range of fuels to generate electric power. This diversity helps maintain a reliable and affordable electric supply for member-consumers by ensuring that regionally plentiful resources can be utilized, reducing costs and keeping rates low.
While coal is a significant source of power for electric cooperatives, co-ops also support the development of and currently utilize many generation resources, including wind, solar, biomass, hydro, nuclear and natural gas.
Many cooperatives are investing in massive energy efficiency – sometimes called “the fifth fuel” – to curb demand and avoid the need to build expensive new generation.
In the development of national energy policy, Congress should provide appropriate funding and equitable incentives for research and development for all clean technologies and both not-for-profit and for-profit segments of the utility industry.
Where We Stand
- NRECA believes that an “all-of-the-above” approach to ensuring electric cooperatives have the resources they need to meet future electricity demand.
- Advanced nuclear, carbon capture and storage technologies and renewable resources require federal tax incentives and financial support in order to encourage their development and bring down their costs to consumers compared to conventional resources. Such incentives must be provided on an equitable basis to not-for-profit electric cooperatives, just as they are provided to for-profit utilities.